Daily Update #356

Colossians 2:16-19
Be sensibleToday’s passage makes me pause to consider my standards, whether they are wholesome and applicable to me.
Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

I praise God that he made us as individuals! It would be so boring if we were all the same. These differences extend to many aspects of what makes us tick. God as our all-knowing Father guides and directs us as a church, integrating all the parts of the body to fulfil his aims. I am very aware of the skills and abilities I am incapable of delivering, but praise God that he has raised others to those roles. However, we should be aware that sometimes God will direct you outside of your comfort zone and challenge you to perform in His strength and not with your own natural resources. We must trust God to know best, but it can be a little scary at times; that’s where faith comes in.

So, with this in mind, we should be all the more conscious of the complimentary roles, skills and traits of those brothers and sisters within our fellowship.
Paul goes into this subject with greater depth in the first letter to the Corinthians. There, in chapter 10, he covers our behaviour and conscience and the point we are all part of one body in chapter 12. There is more detail on how we might consider other people’s consciences in Romans chapter 14.
In today’s passage he specifically mentions the Sabbath, which has a strong case to be Saturday, which causes some divisions about permissible activities on a Sunday. My mother would never cut her nails on a Sunday!

Gordon MacDonald in his book ‘Restoring your Spiritual Passion’, suggests that a rest day began as a law. But now we are in the age of grace, it should be a principle to prevent us from the dangers of burnout. I suggest you read his book to see how this may be sensibly applied to modern life, making it less legalistic and be more a mature approach to applying God’s rest principle to our busy lives.

I guess Paul’s message should make us think more carefully about applying what is clearly directed at us personally by God. Equally, we should be very careful to weigh up when we are given advice, based on someone’s personal experience, because it may not have been given for every situation.

Dear Lord,
I praise you because we are fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I also thank you that as a fellowship are built together as one body. Help us to fulfil the tasks given to us and encourage one another in their ministries. Bind us together Lord, as the united church of Christ.

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Tomorrow’s Reading: Colossians 2:20-23